Amazon complaint

From Saturday until yesterday (Tuesday) something was wrong with my Amazon account. There was an error message telling me that there was a technical problem that they were aware of and looking into that would be dealt with immediately. It was not.


I had several messages back and forth with Amazon France, but nothing happened. Each time I was in touch they asked me questions, which I answered, but offered no resolution to the issue. Eventually I wrote a complaint, no response. Another complaint. No response.


According to them when they called and discussed my problem was them telling me that all of Amazon would therefore be blocked. They thought it might be due to phishing, my bank card frozen and a couple of other things. I had already checked some of them for my self-assurance that my bank had not be plundered or the likes. But then I also made a UK order, which I took up to the last click but then cancelled. It worked despite what they said would happen here. I had no response when I let them know that. No responses did not suit me, so I reacted.


My attitude is that the people up at the top of the chain in a company usually have no idea what goes on on the 'shop floor'. However, my view is that if that comes to nothing then simply forget the middlemen/women and go to the top. In the electronic age it is always possible to find people. So I went looking and found Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon, and emailed him. Here, with simply my orders deleted is the response.


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Dear Dr Brian Milne,

My name is Eric and I work within Amazon.fr Executive Customer Relations.

Jeff Bezos received your email and asked that I respond on his behalf, taking any action necessary to assist you.

I'm sorry that you had difficulty placing your orders. I've checked your account and can see that you have .... (ordered, lah, blah, blah)

To avoid navigation issues in the future, it's recommended that you clear (or "purge") your cache on a regular basis. While a healthy cache can speed up your Web surfing, you might start to experience slowness when the cache begins to fill up.

Also, you may want to consider upgrading to a newer version of your browser. You should visit the homepage of your browser website to check if any updates are available. You can find directions on how to do this in most cases by clicking Help at the top of your browser window.

I'm really sorry the service we provided was not up to the usual standards you have come to expect from us at Amazon.fr. I hope you will give us another chance to prove the high quality of service we normally provide.

You can contact me directly at resolution-fr@amazon.fr, should you need more information.

Thanks for your understanding.

Cordialement,

Eric
Service Client Amazon.fr


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That is a friendly enough answer but still did not tell me what went wrong so that I can avoid it in the future. As for upgrading and keeping my cache empty, I do those of a matter of course in order never to have such problems.


Anyway, the bottom line is that roughly four hours after writing to the CEO I had a peek into my shopping trolley and tried to complete the order. Hey presto, through it went. Now I have had the letter of apology. So all is done and dusted. Some items are for birthday presents, one of them for today but she is away until the weekend and the other friend on Sunday. My whole order has been given priority and now I have to stay home tomorrow to wait for 14 objects arriving.


My overall point is that when it all goes wrong, do not despair. Yes, I was furious but never once screamed down the phone or said anything abusive in an email. That just brings antipathy on the part of people who might deal with it. However, I was forceful in the point that I was treading water and not satisfied. That is what I would always say to do. This was Amazon.fr but it could as easily have been Priceminster, CDiscount or any other online seller. Do not waste time, do not get angry and react by yelling at the sales team. Just give them every chance then if nothing else works, go as high up the 'food chain' as possible then sit back and wait.


It works for me, if necessary it should work for all of you.

If you are within the warranty period then the retailer is the first place to go to begin with. The proprietor is the only person to deal with. Go through the whole story slowly leaving no detail out. If you have had non-standard parts so to you, the tow hook, then say you feel you have a complaint. Suggest you will contact Consommation, Logement et Cadre de Vie - CLCV for advice (www.clcv.org) because you do not believe it to be correct if he says that you have bought, your responsibility, they have none, now pay up and shut up. Mention of consumer organisations gets them shaky because basically very few people bother so they are not sure what might happen.

The other weapon is to have the name of their bitterest rival in the same business, preferably bigger and better, and throw in that you asked there for advice. If he still resists then say that you'll get advice from CLCV then and sadly have to go to rival shop in the future. You can throw in having had plans for new X, Y and Z equipment almost under your breath, just to rub salt in the wound.

Trouble is that small dealerships and large organisations don't have the same attitude. The big ones hate bad publicity and never know who might give it. The small dealer usually holds the virtual monopoly locally and doesn't give a fig.

That is why people who just resign to these things and never complain get on my wick. They will moan about it endlessly but do nothing to help themselves and, ultimately, others. If far more people took the bother to do it then the ' bugger the punters, rake in the profits' attitude would be looked at seriously. Allowing for human error, I cannot see it ever ending. But complacency, disinterest and sweeping matters under carpet would be put paid to when the CEOs started to demand heads roll.

The problem is that this could happen to other people and unless the problem us resolved, it could happen to others and maybe yourself again.

My pension Direct Debit payments just stopped, and I found out 2 months later. Pension crowd writing to me to warn me that 2 premiums have been missed and the policy will be paid up if I don't rectify the situation. I rang them and they said bank cancelled the DD - I checked my online banking - DD still active.

Rang the bank - 'sorry but either you had insufficient funds or the pension crowd didn't request the money'. Former not the case, so must have been the pension crowd.

I sent in cheque for missing payments, and a new mandate - I haven't bothered to go back to pension crowd as clearly something went awry from their side.

My point of this is, sometimes, just sometimes, we don't need to follow up just to complain or find out why. I don't need to spend another 2 hours on phonecalls to find out it was a blip and ultimately no-one got hurt.

I think it ties in with your point Brian, no need to get all yelly and reacty, sometimes these things just happen. All is not lost :-)

Well done on your persistent mannerly dealings, and a positive result!

Jane, the secret is in going out hunting until you find the private email address of the CEO. The corporate one will only ever reach 'minions' who largely bin the complaints and things the boss has no time for. These people do not like getting complaints via their well guarded secretive private email address. When they do it usually means that somebody will pay the price, but we get satisfaction to buy us off.

Have you tried this with Marks and Spencer, result zero.

They do not listen and I still cannot order in UK for delivery to France or Germany.

They are not making the profits they should, disgruntles shareholder here, and do you wonder why when they do not listen to their customers!!

No, being practical and keeping my cool. It is a win nonetheless.

Hero